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View Diary: Moderates and Independents Oppose Fracking in Southern Illinois (27 comments)

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  •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
    These fracking outfits will stop at nothing, even though every bit of advantage natural gas has over other fossil fuels is negated and then some by how much gas this process simply leaks into the atmosphere — methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas than even CO2.
    This allegation has been rejected by U.S. EPA and the Department of Energy.  

    It isn't a legitimate scientific and engineering conclusion, and nothing about your statement reflects any kind of scientific other words your claim is junk science.  

    •  Not so fast (2+ / 0-)
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      Willinois, akmk

      It only takes leakage and wastage of gas in the low single figures percentage-wise to negate gas's advantage.  We're not talking 30 percent here, more like around three percent, simply because methane is many more times as potent a greenhouse gas on intial release than carbon dioxide. Just do the math in terms of balancing the short-term (i.e. 50 year) greenhouse effect of methane.  

      The 0.42 percent leakage rate in a recent industry study and the 0.47 percent in a recent EPA one look hopeful, but there are significant gas projects out there that don't come close to meeting that standard -- the six to 11 percent leakage measured by NOAA in Utah's Uinta basin comes to mind as an example of a project having a far worse environmental impact even than burning coal — and we've still got a long way to go in my view in proving the process's (relative) safety.  "Better than coal" it may be most of the time, but that's a pretty low standard if you ask me, and don't forget how thin that margin of error on leakage actually is.

      •  EPA has already enacted binding rulemaking (1+ / 0-)
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        under the Clean Air Act indicating that methane should be weighted 21 times the global warming forcing potential of carbon dioxide:
        [see 40 CFR sec 52.21(b)(49)(i-ii) on page 26]
        [See Table A-1 to Subpart A, Part 98 greenhouse gas reporting regulations]

        So "many more times as potent as greenhouse gas"  is actually just 21X under enforceable requirements of the EPA binding on industry for purposes of considering the global warming potential of the gases in Table A-1.

        See also this EPA site:

        You said:

        ".....the six to 11 percent leakage measured by NOAA in Utah's Uinta basin comes to mind as an example of a project having a far worse environmental impact even than burning coa....."
        While NOAA obtained daily natural gas production numbers for the research days in question in the research effort in the Uintah Basin, NOAA did not make any measurements of methane emissions from any of the natural gas exploration, production and transmission sites in the Uintah Basin.   Instead, NOAA back calculated a total field emission number of 60 tons per hour of methane using a mass conservation box model.   There is no way for NOAA or anybody else to actually apportion that number to various oil and gas industry operations, process units and emission units that operated those research days in the Uintah Basin.  

        Here is some discussion of that NOAA effort:

        Utah regulation of air pollution is feckless and ineffective so you should not make assumptions that oil and gas industry emissions in Utah are typical of those elsewhere in other states.  Here is information about how Utah Department of Environmental Quality is screwing up air quality planning and cleanup for PM-2.5 in the Salt Lake City and Provo nonattainment areas.

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